An inauguration ceremony takes place today to mark the opening of Africa’s largest gas-fired power plant at Sasolburg, outside Johannesburg.

The Sasol plant is the largest power plant running exclusively on gas engines on the African continent, and the first of its kind ever in the Republic of South Africa. The complete turnkey project package at a demanding altitude of 1,500 metres was supplied by Wärtsilä (OMXWRTBV) on a fast-track basis with performance guarantees.

Sasol

The Finnish company is also responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and project management of the new power plant, which is powered by 18 Wärtsilä 34SG generating sets running on natural gas with an operating capacity of 140 MW

The electricity produced by the plant will be used on-site by Sasol’s chemical factory next to the plant, with about half of the production being fed to the national grid.

Despite the high altitude of the Sasolburg plant, the Wärtsilä gas engines are able to operate with an extremely high level of efficiency. Furthermore, the closed-loop cooling system used by Wärtsilä imposes a minimal demand for water, which is an important factor in areas such as this where water resources are limited.

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